Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia



Alexandria is a historic city located on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, near the Nile Delta, and north of Cairo.

Wolfram von Eschenbach records that it was besieged by the Baruc of Baghdad during the reign of Uther in BritainPerceval’s father Gahmuret assisted in the attack.

According to the Alliterative Morte Arthure and Malory, Alexandria was allied to Lucius, Arthur’s enemy in the Roman War. In Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, its queen is named as Lenomie, Guinevere’s sister.

Alexandria | History up to the 9th century AD

Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. It was established as a major port and city at the western end of the Nile Delta, serving as a vital link between the Mediterranean world and Egypt.

Ptolemaic Rule
After Alexander’s death, the city came under the control of the Ptolemaic dynasty, with Ptolemy I Soter becoming the first ruler. During the Ptolemaic period, Alexandria became a major center of Hellenistic culture, trade, and scholarship.

The Great Library and Greek Influence
Under Ptolemaic rule, Alexandria became famous for its libraries, most notably the Great Library of Alexandria. It housed a vast collection of scrolls, attracting scholars and philosphers from across the ancient world. The library were established in the third century BC, reaching its zenith during the early centuries AD.

The city’s Hellenistic culture and intellectual pursuits made it a significant center for Greek learning. Mathematicians like Euclid, engineers like Archimedes, and astronomers like Eratosthenes contributed to Alexandria’s intellectual legacy.

Roman Rule
In 30 BC, Alexandria came under Roman control when Egypt was incorporated into the Roman Republic and, later, the Roman Empire. The city remained an important hub for trade and culture. The Romans referred to the city of Alexandria as Alexandria ad Aegyptum or simply Alexandria.

Early Christian History
Alexandria played a crucial role in the early history of Christianity. It was the center of theological debates and the site of the Catechetical School of Alexandria. The city’s most prominent Christian scholar was Origen.

Byzantine Period and Muslim Conquest
In the Byzantine era, Alexandria continued to be a center of Christian scholarship and worship, with several significant churches being built. In the seventh century, Alexandria was conquered by the Arab Muslim forces during the Islamic expansion. The city became part of the Islamic Caliphate and played a key role in the early history of Islam.

Decline as a Mediterranean Center
Over the centuries, Alexandria’s status as a Mediterranean trade center gradually declined. The rise of other cities and changes in trade routes contributed to this shift.

Although Alexandria’s prominence waned, the city maintained its historical and cultural significance. Its rich history, ancient ruins, and archaeological sites continue to attract visitors from around the world.

See also
Lenomie of Alexandria | The Legend of King Arthur

Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Diu Crône | Heinrich von dem Türlin, c. 1230
Alliterative Morte Arthure | c. 1400
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470